Albany Business Review
Jan 31, 2017
By Michael DeMasi
Four empty, dilapidated buildings near the warehouse district in Albany, New York — considered dangerous for firefighters to enter — will be turned into 15 apartments under a $2 million renovation led by Patrick Chiou.
Chiou, a 2006 University at Albany graduate, and other investors have been buying properties in the city in recent years, including two office buildings on State Street downtown.
800-804 Broadway in Albany are four buildings next to the Livingston Avenue railroad bridge emblazoned with red-and-white X signs by the city, warning firefighters not to enter unless necessary to save a life.
Their latest investment is 800-804 Broadway, which are four buildings next to the Livingston Avenue railroad bridge emblazoned with red-and-white X signs by the city, warning firefighters not to enter unless necessary to save a life.
The buildings, ignored for years by developers, are now in a strategic position to benefit from investments happening in the nearby warehouse district and on the stretch of Broadway between the railroad bridge and historic Quackenbush Square.
“It’s a main connector piece between downtown and the warehouse district,” said Chiou, 32. “Especially with all the new apartments coming in. It’s a very blighted street that people kind of forgot about.”
The Community Preservation Corp. is providing a $1.53 million construction loan to Chiou and other members of 800 Broadway LLC to do a gut-rehabilitation of the buildings and return them to “historic standards.”
The loan, insured by State of New York Mortgage Agency, is financed through Community Preservation Corp.’s agreement with the New York State Common Retirement Fund. The fund, the third-largest public pension plan in the U.S., is administered by state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.
The remainder of the financing will come from Chiou and the other investors. The developers will seek state and federal historic tax credits, and a property tax abatement from the city.
Off-street parking will be provided in two adjacent lots. Rents will be $1,200 to $1,475, which are in keeping with the average income and local demographics.
“It’s a pretty big undertaking but I think it’s a project that will reap benefits,” Chiou said.